West Kentucky ACS Media Relations Director Melanie Ellingsworth said, “It’s a free service of the ACS that offers volunteer cosmetologists to help women deal with the side effects of their treatment, such as hair loss-including eyebrows and lashes and when their skin dries out. When taking chemotherapy, many women do not feel like themselves. It is a boost to their self esteem to learn to look good again and take care of themselves.”
Trigg County Relay For Life Volunteer Dannye Wagner said, “Not only is this a service for local residents, but we feel like the money we raise in the Relay comes back to the community.”
Volunteer Cosmetologist Carolyn Merrick plans to visit Trigg County for a session on February 26. “In each session, we talk about their skin changing, and give them a kit with all the makeup they would need for their faces and teach techniques for its application.”
Ellingsworth said that the National Cosmetics and Toiletries Foundation donates cosmetics for the program. “We give out current products that have been discontinued, or the packaging has been changed. Some companies donate from current lines.” She added that each kit contains about $200 in cosmetics.
“We talk about what women can do with their hair, how to wear scarves and caps,” said Merrick. “The ACS will supply a wig if needed and we talk about adding scarves to wigs. Then I show them a trick with a t-shirt. They can cut it off and wear it on their head. It’s very soft. You can wear it around when not dressed up or dress it up with some jewelry.”
Merrick said that she became involved in the program when her brother was diagnosed with cancer. “I’ve been involved for six years, and it is a rewarding program. It makes me feel better than the people who come to a session.”
Chemotherapy can have a number of effects on patients. Ellingsworth said, “Every person reacts differently. Hair loss is common, but skin can dry, even the skin tone can change. The most traumatic is the hair loss, though. Most women ask about that.”
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.